Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the investigations his Department is conducting into Gulf war veterans suffering deleterious health effects following return from Operation Granby have examined the possibility of a relationship between the innoculations and NAPS tablets given to soldiers and health care personnel sent to the Gulf, and the development of motor neurone disease and leukaemia.
Mr. Soames: My Department considers all postulated causes of the alleged Gulf war syndrome. The possibility of a relationship between innoculations and NAPS tablets and the development of motor neurone disease and leukaemia has been examined. No evidence has been found within the body of medical knowledge to support such a connection.
Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many overland training flights down to 100ft above ground level were conducted by the aircrew involved in the radar tracking trials using DA20 aircraft from West Freugh on 14 December 1994, prior to carrying out the trials flying; what was the location of the training flights; and what was the involvement of the Royal Air Force instructors in the training;
(2) how many flights below 250ft above ground level were conducted by DA20 aircraft on radar trials from West Freugh during December; and what was the minimum authorised altitude for these flights.
Mr. Soames: Only one sortie below 250ft above ground level was flown by this aircraft, on 19 December; this involved a number of passes over the airfield at West Freugh. No sorties were flown below 250ft above ground level on other dates in December, nor were Royal Air Force instructors involved. The aircraft was operating under civil aviation regulations, and was authorised to fly down to a minimum authorised altitude of 100ft above ground level by the Civil Aviation Authority.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the purpose of the deployment of Italian Air Force Tornado aircraft to RAF Cottesmore in early December 1994; how many aircraft took part; which Royal Air Force unit hosted the visit; whether the visit was a NATO-sponsored unit exchange; how many low- level sorties were undertaken by the aircraft during the deployment, and at what minimum permitted altitudes; how many of these sorties included use of the Spadeadam range; and what breaches of flying regulations have been
Column 354reported in respect of flying by the aircraft involved in the deployment.
Mr. Soames: Eight Italian Air Force Tornado aircraft were deployed to RAF Cottesmore, which hosted the visit, from 5 to 9 December; the purpose was to utilise the electronic warfare tactics range at RAF Spadeadam and carry out low-flying training within the United Kingdom low- flying system. The deployment was not part of a NATO squadron exchange. A total of 19 low-level sorties were flown, 11 of which involved the use of the Spadeadam range; the authorised minimum separation distance for each sortie was 500ft. There have been no reported breaches of flying regulations.
Mr. Peter Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will list the numbers of commissioned officers of each rank in the Royal Navy, differentiating between male and female officers of equivalent rank and indicating how many of the officers in each group have served at sea (a) at that rank or (b) at a lower rank. (2) if he will list the numbers of petty officers and ratings of each rank in the Royal Navy, differentiating between male and female personnel of equivalent rank and indicating how many in each group have served tours of duty at sea.
Mr. Soames: The information is not available in the precise form requested. A table showing the number of personnel serving on the trained strength of the Royal Navy--indicating chaplains and medical and dental officers--as at 1 January by rank and gender, together with the percentage of those personnel who have served at sea, is as follows. It should be noted that drafts and appointments to some ships--in refit or extended readiness, for example--do not count as sea service, and have been excluded. Additionally, some records which pre-date computerisation, particularly those of the more senior officers, may not be complete.
Officers Male Female |Sea |Sea |per |per Rank |Total|cent.|Total|cent. -------------------------------------------------------- Admiral |4 |100 |0 |0 Vice Admiral |13 |85 |0 |0 Rear Admiral |27 |72 |0 |0 Captain |356 |93 |3 |0 Commander |1,125|96 |12 |25 Lieutenant Commander |2,292|95 |42 |45 Lieutenant |2,664|88 |201 |48 Sub Lieutenant/Midshipman |230 |86 |24 |50 Total |6,711|92 |282 |46
Petty Officers and Ratings |Sea |Sea Rate |Total |per cent.|Total |per cent. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Warrant Officer |819 |97 |10 |20 Chief Petty Officer |6,973 |99 |102 |13 Petty Officer |5,848 |98 |329 |22 Leading Rate |6,732 |99 |732 |29 Able/Ordinary Rate |11,271 |95 |1,655 |58 Total |31,643 |97 |2,838 |45
Mr. Freeman: The numbers of United Kingdom regular service and Ministry of Defence civilian personnel working in Hampshire in 1 July in the years in question are set as follows. Figures for employment in defence -related industries are not available below the level of economic planning region.
|Service<1> |Civilian<2>|Total ------------------------------------------------------------ 1989 |36,715 |20,397.5 |57,112.5 1990 |34,254 |20,112.0 |54,366.0 1991 |33,412 |20,111.0 |53,523.0 1992 |31,742 |19,532.0 |51,274.0 1993 |29,794 |18,168.5 |47,962.5 1994 |29,092 |18,473.0 |47,565.0 <1> The 1994 figure for UK regular service personnel is provisional. <2> Permanent staff counted as full time equivalents. The figure for 1992 is at 1 October.
Column 356outcome of investigations by Ministry of Defence police into the activities of certain employees of the Defence Land Agency relating to the disposal of Ministry of Defence property in south- west England, described in his answer of 12 April 1994, Official Report , column 148 .
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the right hon. Member for Selby, as representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to his answer of 23 February, Official Report, column 333, by how much the Commissioners' allocation to stipends has been reduced in the current year as a result of providing for resignations under the Ordination of Women (Financial Provisions) Measure 1993; what are the expected cuts in the allocation to stipends for this reason in each of the next three years; and if he will give his latest estimate of the cost of financial provision under the Measure on the same basis as the figures given to the Ecclesiastical Committee on 11 March 1993.
Mr. Alison: The commissioners are currently engaged, with dioceses, on a programme of cuts in diocesan support amounting to £32 million by 1997 to bring their expenditure and income back into balance. Those cuts are not directly related to the costs of financial provision arising from the ordination of women legislation, although those costs have had an impact--relatively modest--on the scale of cuts required. The commissioners' latest estimates of those costs to be met from their income average around £3 million per annum over the period 1995 97.
Actual expenditure in 1994 and illustrative costings based on a possible total of 350 resignations are set out in the following table. These reflect the pattern of expenditure incurred to date.
Illustration of costs for 350 resignations |Gross costs to be |New housing |met from CC |Housing capital |Net costs for |capital (Funded |income |(funded by CC) |Church |by CC) Year |£ |£ |£ |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1994 |2,452,000 |5,011,000 |747,000 |5,011,000 1995 |3,439,000 |4,770,000 |1,872,000 |4,770,000 1996 |3,216,000 |1,370,000 |1,899,000 |1,370,000 1997 |2,434,000 |355,000 |1,226,000 |54,000 1998 |1,731,000 |213,000 |706,000 |(100,000) 1999 |1,250,000 |111,000 |433,000 |(215,000) 2000 |890,000 |85,000 |272,000 |(254,000) 2001 |851,000 |88,000 |412,000 |(264,000) 2002 |707,000 |91,000 |413,000 |(274,000) 2003 |625,000 |85,000 |437,000 |(285,000) 2004 |415,000 |- |321,000 |(396,000) 2005 |289,000 |- |244,000 |(411,000) 2006 |216,000 |- |197,000 |(428,000) 2007 |211,000 |- |204,000 |(445,000) 2008 |211,000 |- |209,000 |(463,000) 2009 |217,000 |- |216,000 |(361,000) 2010 |221,000 |- |221,000 |(375,000) 2011 |226,000 |- |226,000 |(390,000) 2012 |233,000 |- |233,000 |(406,000) Total |19,834,000 |12,189,000 |10,488,000 |6,138,000 Notes: (a) The number of resignations shown (350)is a broad estimate, and the final costs may vary substantially. (b) Actual costs based on 232 resignations are shown in respect of 1994. A similar pattern of costs has been assumed for future years. (c) The figures make allowance for future increases in house prices and stipends. (d) It has been assumed that 50 per cent. of resigners will require housing assistance. (e) The net figures take account of such variables as stipends savings (assuming at least a temporary reduction in the payroll), allowance for retirement housing provision which would otherwise have arisen on retirement, and the possibility of some people redeeming loans or leaving rented accommodation once they have obtained alternative employment.
Mr. Robert Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will set out the level of average rate of unemployment in the Harrogate travel-to-work area for the most convenient date in the year since 1979.
Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is his estimate of the number of jobs that will be lost due to the re-defined criteria for payment to training providers of training for work programmes; and what provision will be made for trainees unable to complete their study.
Mr. Paice: I can make no estimate of the overall change in staffing amongst training providers. Individual training and enterprise councils determine both the training providers they fund and the nature of the payment arrangements to those providers. TECs have a contractual responsibility to ensure that trainees are given the opportunity to undertake suitable alternative training should a provider no longer be able to offer training for work.
Mr. Paice: In 1993 94, 5 per cent. of all training for work trainees in Great Britain were self-employed six months after leaving. No information is held centrally about how many of these people or their businesses receive some form of support.
Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what mechanism there is to fund new training providers wishing to replace those training managers who can no longer justify their existence under existing rules.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish a list of all Employment Service offices indicating those which (a) will be using the services of the professional executive services team in 1995 96 and (b) need its services in 1994 95 and, in the case of each office, the estimate made of the number of unemployed people for whom these services would be useful.
Miss Widdecombe: Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service Agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given. Letter from R. M. Phillips to Mr. John Denham, dated 13 March 1995 :
The Secretary of State has asked me, in the absence of the Chief Executive, to reply to your question asking for a list of all Employment Service (ES) offices, together with information on the Professional Executive Services Team.
The ES has over 1,350 offices throughout the country and to list them would not be practical. I have however provided details of the offices involved with the Professional and Executive Services Team which I trust you will find useful.
The Professional and Executive Services Team offers specialist advice to executive level jobseekers on jobsearch activities. It was created at a time of rising unemployment to help unemployed executives in Hampshire and Isle of Wight. It was a local initiative in response to a rise in the number of unemployed executives in the area. Under this initiative executives were offered a half-day seminar on jobsearch techniques and an opportunity to include their pen picture in an occasional brochure which was distributed to local employers.
With falling unemployment, the provision of this service has been reviewed and it will remain available during the coming operational year within the ES Portsmouth District. This District covers ES Jobcentres at Portsmouth, Newport, Ryde, Shanklin, Cosham, and Havant.
During the current operational year these services have also been available within three other ES Districts; Southampton, Fareham, Winchester and Portsmouth. These Districts cover ES Jobcentres at Andover, Basingstoke, Petersfield, Winchester, Hythe, Lymington, Southampton, Woolston, Eastleigh, Fareham, Gosport.
Specialist services to unemployed executives will continue throughout the ES with Executive Jobclubs and Executive Job Search Seminar programmes.
While it is difficult to predict the future level of success of the scheme, I can advise that approximately 20 vacancies were taken by the Professional and Executive Service Team in Southampton between April 1994 and January.
I hope this is helpful.
Mr. Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will investigate the actions of the Employment Service in misascribing the constituency which the jobcentre in the Firth park area of Sheffield serves to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Attercliffe (Mr. Betts).
(2) who is responsible for decisions in relation to the closure of the jobcentres; if it is his policy that the local Member of Parliament should be consulted or informed with regard to any changes to the availability of such a service; and if he will make a statement;
(3) if he will investigate the proposal to close the Firth park jobcentre facility in Sheffield and the cost involved in clients having to travel to alternative facilities.
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what dates discussions took place between Treasury officials and Japanese officials on the incidence of off-exchange dealings in derivatives in Japan by non-Japanese nationals in the last two years.
Mr. Nelson: Japanese, United Kingdom and United States securities markets regulators met in Tokyo on 22 April 1994 in one of a series of trilateral meetings to discuss co-operation and regulatory issues in financial services. One of the issues discussed was the over-the-counter derivatives business. It was agreed to co-operate on a trilateral basis in further study.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information he has about the value of pensions business currently handled by United Kingdom building societies; what information he has concerning the extent to which such societies are trading in derivatives; what steps he is taking in the light of the Baring affair to issue guidance to such derivative-trading building societies; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 9 March 1995]: The volume of pensions business handled by building societies is very small both in relation to the size of their operations overall, and to the total volume of pensions in the United Kingdom. Under the Building Societies Act 1986, societies may use a limited range of derivatives, but only for the reduction of risk arising from changes in interest rates, currency rates or other prescribed factors. They do not have the power to trade or speculate in derivatives. The Building Societies Commission has issued prudential guidance on the use of derivatives. The commission keeps its prudential guidance under review. If further guidance is needed in the wake of recent events at Barings, the commission will provide it.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps are being taken by the Building Societies Commission to ensure that building societies do not become involved in derivatives trading; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 9 March 1995]: Building Societies may enter into only a restricted range of derivative contracts, solely for the purpose of reducing loss. They do not have the power to trade or speculate in derivatives.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects United Kingdom relative export unit values for manufactures to fall to the fourth quarter 1986 level; and if he will list United Kingdom relative export unit values for manufactures for each quarter since the fourth quarter of 1986.
Mr. Nelson: The latest Treasury forecast for relative export unit values for manufactures is shown in chart 3.18 of the November 1994 "Financial Statement and Budget Report", together with historical data back to 1975.
Quarterly data for relative export unit values for manufactures can be found in the "Monthly review of External Trade Statistics" published monthly by the Central Statistical Office.
Mrs Maddock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of those accepted for fast-stream entry for which his Department is responsible (a) in 1991, (b) 1992, (c) in 1993 and (d) in 1994 were women.
Mr. Nelson: Details for 1991 and 1992 are given in the civil service commissioners report for the relevant year. Copies of the reports are available in the Library. The information for 1993 and 1994 is as follows.
Year |Male |Female|Total ----------------------------------- 1993 |13 |4 |17 1994 |8 |5 |13
Mr. Nelson: A change in interest rates is likely to affect the pressure of demand in the economy and hence inflation, through several different channels. It affects investment, stockbuilding and consumption directly by changing the cost of capital and the cost of borrowing. It also affects these expenditures indirectly by changing the incomes of borrowers and creditors and the value of assets, such as housing. It may also affect the inflation rate by changing the exchange rate and hence sterling
Column 361import prices. Some of these effects can be quick acting; others occur over a longer period.
Quantifying the aggregate effect is difficult. The estimates produced by the major United Kingdom macroeconomic models, including the published Treasury model, are regularly compared and published by the Economic and Social Research Council Macroeconomic Modelling Bureau at the University of Warwick. The latest comparison was published in the August 1993 "National Institute Economic Review," a copy of which is in the Library.
|Tenure ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Governors Lord Cromer |1 July 1961 - 30 June 1966 Lord O'Brien |1 July 1966 - 30 June 1973 Lord Richardson |1 July 1973 -30 June 1983 Lord Kingsdown |1 July 1983 -30 June 1993 E A J George |1 July 1993 - Deputy Governors Lord O'Brien |1 March 1964 - 30 June 1966 Sir Maurice Parsons |1 July 1966 - 28 February 1970 Sir Jasper Q Hollom |1 March 1970 - 29 February 1980 C W McMahon |1 March 1980 - 31 December 1985 Sir George Blunden |1 January 1986 - 28 February 1990 E A J George |1 March 1990 - 30 June 1993 R L Pennant-Rea |1 July 1993 -
Year |Balance (million) ------------------------------------------------------ 1976 |+3,882 1977 |+4,832 1993 |-2,691 Constant price estimates are routinely based on 1990 prices. Full data for 1994 are not available.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list and quantify the economic benefits which will flow to the United Kingdom from membership of the European Union, together with the beneficiaries.
Mr. Nelson: I have nothing to add to the replies I gave to the hon. Member on 17 March 1994, Official Report, column 822, on the 30 June 1994, Official Report, column 680 , and on 19 September 1994, Official Report, column 941 , and to the reply my right hon. Friend the Prime
Column 362Minister gave on 18 May 1994, Official Report, column 470 , the reply my hon. Friend the Paymaster General gave on 25 November 1994, Official Report, column 468, and the reply my right hon. Friend the Member for Eddisbury (Mr. Goodlad), the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, gave on 29 November 1994, Official Report, column 583 in response to very similar questions from the hon. Member.
Mr. Nelson: The Government are committed to permanently low inflation. We are not opposed to an increase in the price of imported goods relative to domestic goods unless this signals rising inflation.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give his assessment of (a) the rate of return on capital employed in manufacturing and non-manufacturing in 1993 and 1994 and (b) the connection between rate of return and investment in increased manufacturing capacity.
Mr. Nelson: The net real rate of return on capital employed by manufacturing companies in 1993 was 5.8 per cent. For all industrial and commercial companies--ICCs--it was 8.4 per cent. Data for 1994 are not yet available, but the forecast published last November in the "Financial Statement and Budget Report" showed the net real rate of return for all ICCs rising to 10 per cent. in 1994, with some further increase in 1995. Increases in rates of return contribute to an improved climate for investment. Evidence of this is beginning to emerge. For example, manufacturing investment in plant and machinery in the fourth quarter of 1994 was 5 per cent. up on the previous quarter and 7 per cent. up on a year earlier.
Sir George Young: The costs of investigating tax offences which actually amount to fraud are not separately identifiable. However, the costs of investigations carried out by the Inland Revenue into tax evasion, which includes fraud, during the last five years, were as follows:
|Spending Year |£ million ------------------------------ 1989-90 |89 1990-91 |103 1991-92 |115 1992-93 |124 1993-94 |137 Comparable figures for earlier years are not available.
Mr. Matthew Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has reached a decision on the prior options in relation to the current three-year review of the Valuation Office as a next steps agency; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nelson: Treasury Ministers have now considered the options for the future of the Valuation Office agency, taking into account views expressed in response to the public consultation. We have concluded that the Valuation Office should continue as a next steps agency in the public sector and within the Inland Revenue.
The next stage of the review, which it is hoped will be concluded by the end of April or very shortly thereafter, involves completing the evaluation of the agency's performance to date, reviewing the detailed framework within which the agency operates and considering the appropriate senior management structure for it.
The next stage will in particular examine the potential for involving the private sector to a greater extent in the agency's non-core work; develop proposals for securing future improvements in efficiency, effectiveness and quality in the tasks it undertakes; and consider whether trading fund status would be appropriate for the agency.
We expect to publish the results of the review in due course.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what directions the Bank of England has given to United Kingdom financial institutions in relation to the separation of responsibilities between the front office and the settlements or back office areas of the trading units within such institutions.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 6 March 1995]: The Bank of England does not issue directions to banks on how they must conduct their internal trading and settlement operations but would generally expect the functions of authorisation, execution, valuation, reconciliation, custody and recording to be handled separately.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which permanent secretaries have left his Department's employment in the last five years; and which public positions they have been appointed to subsequently.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 8 March 1995]: Sir Peter Middleton and Sir John Anson have retired as permanent secretaries from the Treasury in the five years from 1 March 1990. They have not been appointed to any public positions.
Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the rateable value of the Cefn Lea Park Christian holiday centre, Dolfar, Newton in 1994 95; what it will be in 1995 96; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 8 March 1995]: The rateable value for this centre is £9,400 in 1994 95 and will be £27,535 for 1995 96. The Government have introduced transitional arrangements to phase in assessments which have been increased. For properties with a new rateable value of £10,000 or more, increases in rate bills will be limited to 10 per cent. plus inflation. The same limits on increases will continue to apply for each year up to and including 1999 2000. Ratepayers who are dissatisfied with their new assessments may appeal after the new lists come into effect on 1 April 1995.
Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures he is taking to combat sickness absenteeism in (a) the Office of the Paymaster, (b) the Central Statistical Office, (c) the Royal Mint and (d) the Treasury.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 9 March 1995]: All four Departments are alert to the need to keep sickness absence to a minimum, and have introduced a range of initiatives to help improve the health of their staff and reduce sickness absence. They each have a separate dedicated welfare officer and a health and safety officer. All adopt widespread no-smoking policies, provide health screening, eye and eyesight tests for those who use display screen equipment and special leave for domestic emergencies.
In addition (a) the Office of the Paymaster has introduced a "look after your heart scheme", cancer screening for women, a workplace nursery and holiday play scheme arrangements; (b) the Central Statistical Office held health screening programmes in both 1992 and 1993, makes health promotional videos available in its Library, has organised presentations from the national physiotherapy service and provides holiday play scheme arrangements; (c) the Royal Mint has an on-site occupational health service, a health screening programme and access to a fitness centre; (d) the Treasury also has a fitness centre, provides holiday play scheme arrangements, provides awareness seminars for new VDU users and carries out workstation risk assessments for all DSU users and regular risk assessment of the workplace. In addition, contractors are asked to provide a copy of their health and safety policy statement and are briefed on best safety practice in the workplace. All four departments have systems in place to record and monitor sickness absence; to manage staff with unacceptable levels of sickness absence; and to take appropriate action if it proves impossible to bring attendance back to acceptable levels. These systems are kept under review.
performance-related pay schemes for the latest year for which figures are available.
Mr. Burden: To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to ensure co -ordination between Ministers and regulatory bodies in monitoring levels of executive salaries and share options in privatised industries and services.
The Prime Minister: The role of regulators is to protect consumers. Regulators cannot be expected to judge the merits of individual board members, set their pay effectively and determine the appointment of boardroom executives. We await the conclusions of the Greenbury committee on the best practice for companies on executive remuneration.
The Prime Minister: For this purpose my office is part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given today by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Office of Public Service and Science.
The right hon. Norman Lamont MP
The right hon. Tristan Garel-Jones MP
The right hon. Sir Archie Hamilton MP
Edward Leigh MP
Sir Kenneth Carlisle MP
Robert Jackson Esq. MP
Michael Mates Esq. MP
The right hon. the Lord Hesketh
Tim Yeo MP
The right hon. the Earl of Caithness
Michael Brown MP
The right hon. the Lord Wakeham
The right hon. John MacGregor OBE, MP
The right hon. Peter Brooke CH, MP
The right hon. John Patten MP
The right hon. Sir Timothy Sainsbury MP
The right hon. Sir Wyn Roberts MP
The right hon. Sir Peter Lloyd MP
The right hon. Sir Nicholas Scott KBE MP
The right hon. Sir John Cope MP
The hon. Sir Mark Lennox-Boyd MP
Patrick McLoughlin MP
Robert Key MP
Sir Irvine Patnick OBE, MP
Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
Viscount St. Davids
Tim Smith MP
Neil Hamilton MP
Earl of Arran